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Joy Harjo Writing Styles in Anniversary

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Harjo's "Anniversary" is written in a very relaxed, contemporary style of free verse. There is no intentional rhyme or set meter, and there is very little alliteration (like-sounding consonants and vowels placed close together to create a rhythmic sound). One may expect the simplicity of the language to conflict with the complexity of the subject matter, and, yet, just the opposite is true. An attempt to record the creation of the universe and humankind in a twenty-five-line poem seems daunting anyway, but should it not at least require profound descriptions and even esoteric wording to complement the issue? Not necessarily. The simple, direct language actually enhances the idea that this is a celebration poem, not a scientific treatise on the formation of matter and energy. Harjo's story is uncluttered and natural, innocent in its presentation. She does not avoid the almost childlike depictions of "A little flame...

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This section contains 290 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Anniversary Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Anniversary from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.